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Did you witness demonic possession? A response time analysis of the relationship between event plausibility and autobiographical beliefs

Mazzoni, Giuliana

Authors

Giuliana Mazzoni G.Mazzoni@hull.ac.uk



Abstract

This study tested the hypothesis that the search for information pertinent to answering the question "Did event x happen to you?" is preceded by a preliminary plausibility assessment, the outcome of which affects the amount of effort invested in the search. Undergraduate students were asked to assess the plausibility of six events and subsequently to rate their belief that each event had happened to them before the age of 6. Unknown to them, response times (RTs) for answering the belief questions were also recorded. RTs for making belief judgments were more highly correlated with plausibility than with belief, and were significantly associated with plausibility even when belief ratings were controlled. As predicted, RTs were very short when the event was deemed highly implausible and increased sharply if the event was deemed at least somewhat plausible; significant but less pronounced increases in RTs followed as plausibility increased further.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2007-04
Journal PSYCHONOMIC BULLETIN & REVIEW
Print ISSN 1069-9384
Electronic ISSN 1531-5320
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 2
Pages 277-281
APA6 Citation Mazzoni, G. (2007). Did you witness demonic possession? A response time analysis of the relationship between event plausibility and autobiographical beliefs. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 14(2), (277-281). doi:10.3758/BF03194064. ISSN 1069-9384
DOI https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03194064
Keywords False memory; Autobiographical memory; Belief rating; Response time analysis; Event plausibility
Publisher URL https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758%2FBF03194064


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